What does drug mean?

Definitions for drug

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word drug.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. drugverb

    a substance that is used as a medicine or narcotic

  2. drug, doseverb

    administer a drug to

    "They drugged the kidnapped tourist"

  3. drug, do drugsverb

    use recreational drugs


  1. Drugnoun

    any substance intended for use in the treatment, prevention, diagnosis, or cure of disease, especially one listed in the official pharmacopoeia published by a national authority.

  2. Drugnoun

    any substance having psychological effects, such as a narcotic, stimulant, or hallucinogenic agent, especially habit-forming and addictive substances, sold or used illegally; as, a drug habit; a drug treatment program; a teenager into drugs; a drug bust; addicted to drugs; high on drugs.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DRUGnoun

    Etymology: drogue, French.

    Mortal drugs I have; but Mantua’s law
    Is death to any he that utters them. William Shakespeare, Rom. and Juliet.

    A fleet descry’d
    Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
    Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
    Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring
    Their spicy drugs. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ii. l. 640.

    And yet no doubts the poor man’s draught control;
    He dreads no poison in his homely bowl:
    Then fear the deadly drug, when gems divine
    Enchase the cup, and sparkle in the wine. John Dryden, Juven.

    Judicious physick’s noble art to gain,
    He drugs and plants explor’d, alas, in vain! Smith.

    Bright Helen mix’d a mirth-inspiring bowl,
    Temper’d with drugs of sov’reign use, t’ assuage
    The boiling bosom of tumultuous rage. Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. iv.

    In the names of drugs and plants, the mistake in a word may endanger life. Thomas Baker, Reflections on Learning.

    Each noble vice
    Shall bear a price,
    And virtue shall a drug become:
    An empty name
    Was all her fame,
    But now she shall be dumb. John Dryden, Albion.

    He from his first swath proceeded
    Through sweet degrees that this brief world affords,
    To such as may the passive drugs of it freely command. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Drugverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The surfeited grooms
    Do mock their charge with snores. —— I’ve drugg’d their possets,
    That death and nature do contend about them. William Shakespeare, Macb.

    Oft they assay’d,
    Hunger and thirst constraining: drugg’d as oft
    With hatefulest disrelish, writh’d their jaws,
    With soot and cinders fill’d. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x.


  1. Drug

    A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository, or dissolution under the tongue. In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance, typically of known structure, which, when administered to a living organism, produces a biological effect. A pharmaceutical drug, also called a medication or medicine, is a chemical substance used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being. Traditionally drugs were obtained through extraction from medicinal plants, but more recently also by organic synthesis. Pharmaceutical drugs may be used for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.Pharmaceutical drugs are often classified into drug classes—groups of related drugs that have similar chemical structures, the same mechanism of action (binding to the same biological target), a related mode of action, and that are used to treat the same disease. The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC), the most widely used drug classification system, assigns drugs a unique ATC code, which is an alphanumeric code that assigns it to specific drug classes within the ATC system. Another major classification system is the Biopharmaceutics Classification System. This classifies drugs according to their solubility and permeability or absorption properties.Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the function of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness. These drugs are divided into different groups like: stimulants, depressants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and hallucinogens. These psychoactive drugs have been proven useful in treating wide range of medical conditions including mental disorders around the world. The most widely used drugs in the world include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which are also considered recreational drugs, since they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. All drugs can have potential side effects. Abuse of several psychoactive drugs can cause addiction and/or physical dependence. Excessive use of stimulants can promote stimulant psychosis. Many recreational drugs are illicit and international treaties such as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs exist for the purpose of their prohibition.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Drugverb

    to drudge; to toil laboriously

  2. Drugnoun

    a drudge (?)

  3. Drugnoun

    any animal, vegetable, or mineral substance used in the composition of medicines; any stuff used in dyeing or in chemical operations

  4. Drugnoun

    any commodity that lies on hand, or is not salable; an article of slow sale, or in no demand

  5. Drugverb

    to prescribe or administer drugs or medicines

  6. Drugverb

    to affect or season with drugs or ingredients; esp., to stupefy by a narcotic drug. Also Fig

  7. Drugverb

    to tincture with something offensive or injurious

  8. Drugverb

    to dose to excess with, or as with, drugs

  9. Etymology: [See 1st Drudge.]


  1. Drug

    A drug is a substance which may have medicinal, intoxicating, performance enhancing or other effects when taken or put into a human body or the body of another animal and is not considered a food or exclusively a food. What is considered a drug rather than a food varies between cultures, and distinctions between drugs and foods and between kinds of drug are enshrined in laws which vary between jurisdictions and aim to restrict or prevent drug use. Even within a jurisdiction, however, the status of a substance may be uncertain or contested with respect to both whether it is a drug and how it should be classified if at all. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage. In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders. Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior. Some drugs can cause addiction and/or habituation.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Drug

    drug, n. any substance used in the composition of medicine: an article that cannot be sold, generally owing to overproduction.—v.t. to mix or season with drugs: to dose to excess.—v.i. to prescribe drugs or medicines:—pr.p. drug′ging; pa.p. drugged.—n. Drug′gist, one who deals in drugs. [O. Fr. drogue, prob. from Dut. droog, dry; as if applied orig. to dried herbs.]

  2. Drug

    drug, n. (Shak.) a drudge.

Suggested Resources

  1. DRUG

    What does DRUG stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the DRUG acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'drug' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2065

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'drug' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2869

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'drug' in Nouns Frequency: #429

How to pronounce drug?

How to say drug in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of drug in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of drug in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of drug in a Sentence

  1. Melissa Majumdar:

    There are no specific supplements that will help protect against coronavirus and anyone claiming that is being investigated by the FTC [ Federal Trade Commission ] and the FDA [ Food and Drug Administration ].

  2. Harold Wimmer:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a unique opportunity to reverse this spike in youth use, by denying any flavored tobacco product permission to remain on the market when it reviews the applications due to the agency on September 9, in the meantime, our states and communities must act to fill the void left by FDA's failure to take action by passing state and local laws to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

  3. Patricia Neal:

    A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.

  4. Donald Trump:

    Scott has helped us to lower drug prices, get a record number of generic drugs approved and onto the market, and so many other things. He and his talents will be greatly missed!

  5. Richard Isaacson:

    When that blockbuster drug comes, a test like this is what we're all looking for.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for drug

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for drug »


Find a translation for the drug definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"drug." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/drug>.

Discuss these drug definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for drug? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    in or of the month preceding the present one
    • A. incumbent
    • B. aculeate
    • C. defiant
    • D. ultimo

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for drug: